OXFORD -- Although it's still early in the season, freshman Samuel Kim has established himself as Oxford College's chairman of the glass.
The 6-foot-3 guard/forward leads the Eagles -- who hosted Tennessee-Temple Tuesday night -- in rebounding, averaging nearly 10 per game.
He's had at least four double-digit rebounding nights for Oxford (8-3, 1-0 in GCAA's Region 17), grabbing 19 against Bryan College, 17 against Truett-McConnell's junior varsity, 16 against Anderson College and 11 against Southern Wesleyan.
Kim also sports a 5.5 point-per-game average and scored a team-high 15 points in Oxford's 89-63 victory on Sunday against the Greenville Titans. And while he's one of the Eagles' tallest players, he's comfortable taking charge of the ball in transition.
"Sam's a multi-purpose player," Oxford coach Roderick Stubbs said. "He can play anywhere from point guard to center. And he's an excellent passer and looks for people in the open court. And he's our leading rebounder. He brings a lot to the table and helps us to function better.
"We put in a system where if you get the (defensive) rebound, then you're the point. So he'll go get it and can run the point and look for people in transition. He loves that."
Beginning his high school career at Peachtree Ridge in Suwanee, Kim transferred to St. Francis in Alpharetta for his junior and senior seasons, leading his team to the Class A Sweet 16 in 2010 while nearly averaging a triple-double for the Knights as a senior.
He then spent a year polishing his game at the Atlanta Sports Academy (now called True Basketball Academy) and was interested in the Oxford program when Stubbs began recruiting him.
"We were recruiting him out of St. Francis and were very high on him," Stubbs said. "He decided to go to the Atlanta Sports Academy and we decided to continue to recruit him and we finally got him to commit. He was always high on academics, but he wanted to see what was out there, so we're overjoyed to have him."
"I wanted to play basketball after high school and what attracted me to Oxford was the academics, so I'm definitely happy with my decision," Kim said. "We were ranked No 13 (nationally) a week or two ago and we're real excited about that. I'm also happy with my play. Everyone is trying to find out how the others play, because we've got 11 or 12 different personalities here. It's different because everyone comes from a different background or culture, so it's new experience for all of us."
The pre-business major -- who said he hopes to attend Emory and perhaps an Ivy League school when his days at Oxford College conclude -- is comfortable with his role with the Eagles and isn't concerned that he's often banging against players several inches taller than him in the frontcourt.
"In high school, I was more of a point forward," he said. "I'm kind of doing that right now, but we don't have anybody who's like 6-8, so I'm playing everything. When I was at St. Francis, I was one of the taller guys on the team, so it was all about rebounding and going for the fast break. The key to rebounding when you're not the tallest guy is positioning and knowing where the ball is going percentage-wise -- if the shot comes from the corner, you know it's going to the other side."
The Eagles will close out the 2011 portion of their schedule on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Middle Georgia Tech (the team's second conference game) and will resume play on Friday, Jan. 6 at Brevard Community College in Melbourne, Fla.
For more information on Oxford College's men's basketball team, visit www.oxford.emory.edu/athletics.